Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Oldways" Food Pyramid

When we're stressed, what can be more comforting than food? After all, we often put the two words together into a phrase, "comfort food". Only it's not comforting (or comfortable) to be overweight.

Speaking of comfort, I came across a resolution that I had written before the beginning of the year: "To be able to tie my shoes without pain." At the time, I thought it was a clever way to resolve to lose weight. Only I found a better way to get to my shoes than by leaning straight over. I DID find a way to tie those shoes without pain...while continuing to gain weight. In my defense, I kind of got hit with another major stress in January when Paul lost vision. I don't drink; I don't smoke; I don't...oh, aren't these excuses for overeating g-o-o-d?

A few years back I lost 25 pounds on the South Beach Diet. I didn't gain it back until I got super-stressed when Peter lost vision, and then I gained it back very slowly. So that diet can work. My best long-term benefit from having been on that diet is knowing that I really can lose 25 pounds! I just don't think that particular diet is the right route for me this time. For one thing, it's not the thriftiest way to eat. For another, I think it has a little too much emphasis on protein for my current leanings.

We've been trying to use more of a Mediterranean type diet for awhile now. Read "diet" as in "nutrition plan" rather than as in "weight loss plan". Where the weight control aspect comes in, I believe, is portion size -- and cutting out the cheating. What I need to change is the snacks. I've been using this type of diet for meals...but "cheating" crazily for snacks.

Does this mean our meals are composed of Greek foods? Nope. Actually, a Mediterranean diet shares the same basic food principles with a traditional Latin diet and an Asian diet. There is a website called Oldways, the Food Issues Think Tank, which shows the "Eatwise Pyramid"; they share information on how the typical food pyramid for each of these ethnicities is similar.

Whether you want to lose weight or not, you might enjoy checking out these food pyramids. They leave room for lots of variety, are good for the whole family, and are economical, too. What more could we ask for?

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